Race Rules

Race Rules

All CSA registered entrants must be AR Rated according to CSA rules and regulations.  Paddlers, who are CR Rated and have completed their River Proficiency Test, may paddle the race at the back of a K2 with a paddler who has completed 10 or more Fish Marathons.

Consult the CSA website for further information or contact your Union if uncertain.  Entry Lists go to Unions for verification!  All entrants from foreign countries must convince the EPCU and Fish Safety Officer of their ability to handle the racing conditions presented by the Fish River Canoe Marathon.

CSA approved life jackets are compulsory on both days. These will be checked and if incorrect, paddlers will be prohibited from taking part. Helmets are not compulsory, but highly recommended for novice paddlers especially on Day 1 at Toastrack Bridge.

Private sponsorship: No clothing or equipment bearing neither logos nor products in direct conflict with the race sponsor’s market will be permitted. During TV and Media interviews, paddlers must ensure they are wearing race sponsor’s apparel.

Valid CSA registration numbers must be placed on both side of the front deck of the boat. Other sponsorship must be placed on the rear deck or on the sides behind the front point of the cockpit. Batch stickers must be placed on the front left hand deck and be clearly visible.

The winner is the competitor completing the race in the shortest total time. The Senior and U18 class are the only open classes.

There will be a Le Mans start at Grassridge Dam on Day 1 and a Reverse start on Day 2.    The seeded paddlers will be in a separate smaller batch. All late entries will be un-seeded and placed in the last batches.

10 litres of buoyancy (in the front AND at the back) is compulsory and will be checked. Beach balls and bottles are ONLY permissible if secured to the boat.

During the Race, Paddles may be exchanged, but No boats are allowed to be replaced. No outside assistance of any kind is permitted, except in an emergency.

Withdrawals from the race must inform an official (wearing official bibs) and provide their name and boat number ASAP.

The area behind any line of buoys is NO MAN’S LAND! If entering you will be disqualified.

Any appeal must be lodged in writing, to a member of the Jury, within one hour of the competitor completing that specific leg of the race. R50 must accompany the protest. CSA rules will apply.

No competitor under the age of 14 years is allowed to compete in a K1

Cradock Weir: Only the first 50 boats may go over the weir wherever they choose, but if they land on another boat below the weir, they will be disqualified. The rest of the field may only pass under the safety marshal’s orders. Safety will be left to the Lifesavers’ discretion with NO further discussion allowed.

The organizers reserve the right to:

  1. Disqualify, penalise with a time penalty, or apply appropriate disciplinary action against any competitor in breach of the marathon rules or who tries to improve their position in a dishonest way.
  2. Enforce the withdrawal of any number of participants whenever the safety or health of participants is endangered.
  3. Amend or add to the rules at any stage. No changes or amendments to the rules will be allowed unless approved by the chief official.
  4. The organizers reserve the right of entry.
  5. Unless sound reasons can be given, a canoeist who disobeys any rules – whether they be specified in the brochure, on the entry form, in the pre-race notes or given at the pre-race meeting – will be disqualified.

K1 and K2 craft allowed. K3 craft only permitted subject to the following conditions:

  • Paddlers, who are CR Rated and have completed their River Proficiency Test, may paddle the race at the back of a K2 with a paddler who has completed 10 or more Fish Marathons.
  • All paddlers in the K3 must be competent and qualified to do the Fish.
  • The Front paddler must have completed at least two Fish River Marathons, either in a single or in the front of a multi seated boat.
  • All K3s will be batched with K2s of a similar speed.
  • K3s must at all times, give way to the Racing Class.
  • K3 crew must be considerate of other participants as they are paddling a large boat that may hinder smaller more manoeuvrable boats.
  • K3 entrants must have their entry forms signed by their Union Safety Officer stating that all the paddlers are suitably qualified to do the Fish River Canoe Marathon.

The Race Committee’s decision will be final and the marathon committee and sponsors accept no responsibility for any loss, damage, injury or death resulting from the race.